In One Word

In One Word, Beyond The Black Door by A. M. Strickand is…


  • Published in 2019 by Imprint
  • Format: eBook
  • Reading time: 11 great days


  • Maybe, it was a good idea to leave this book to the end of the Golden Trio Reading Challenge. This book was definitely worth the wait. I was first drawn to it with the promise of an asexual main character but I stayed for the fascinating world of soulwalkers. Kamai’s mother is one of them. Kamai visits all kinds of souls, both beautiful and horrifying, but, in every soul, there is always a black door which Kamai must never, ever, open. The door doesn’t just appear either. It’s warm to the touch and calls her name, like it wants to be opened. Then, tragedy strikes and Kamai opens the door.
  • Absolutely admire the pacing. It’s absolute perfection throughout and never left me struggling too much to get through a scene. The mystery of what’s beyond the black door is stretched out just long enough before a greater mystery takes its place.
  • Rather unsure what to make Vehyn and I was worried that this might turn into a romance subplot. Thankfully, no matter how much Vehyn wanted it to, it averts that route and takes a much more realistic approach to breaking out of a controlling relationship.
  • Very sensitive discussions about gender and sexuality. The main draw for this book was the fact that the main character was asexual and rest assured that they deal with the topic excellently. The diversity in general is excellent with openly gay and bisexual characters, a trans character (who is also one of my favourites in the book) and strong women who are each strong in a different way.
  • Excellent character development, especially in Kamai as she learns to accept her asexuality, find the strength to resist the darker part of her soul and figure out how to forge her own path in a world that wants to constrain girls into marriage, pleasure work or religion. Razim constantly kept me guessing too. Nikha is also one of my favourites; a tough and loyal friend to Kamai who is determined to defy the restrictions on her gender and become a royal bodyguard.
  • Lavish world building but you do need to give it your full attention as the various secret societies and conspiracies get very tangled and convoluted. It constantly builds as the story goes on and never goes into info-dumping. There are also lots of little details and differences between cultures that I just love.
  • Loved the style and I only wish an audiobook was available. That said, the eBook version was great with a helpful diagram or two when talking about symbols.
  • Offers a fascinating take on entering someone’s soul. As expected, a person’s ‘neyhm’ accurately reflects their personality and can sometimes be unflattering. It doesn’t present everyone’s secrets for all soulwalkers to see, however, and soulwalkers need to follow strict rules about messing around in the neyhm, especially if they are unauthorised by the church like Kamai’s mother. Like I said, the world building around this is great.
  • Under the category of ‘books I wish I had when I was younger’, for sure.
  • Sensational ending that will constantly wrongfoot you and leave you with no idea what will happen next. The action is non-stop and provides a very satisfying end to all of Kamai’s struggles without feeling like it’s too happy. It could have a sequel but I’m happy with how it ends here.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Did you agree with my rating? Can you think of a better word to describe it? Please let me know with a like, share or comment.

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